Did you know? Perth Zoo’s passionate conservationists play an important role in conservation fieldwork for the critically endangered Western Ground Parrot.
Earlier this year, in what’s known as a ‘wild to wild’ translocation, five bird were carefully caught in Cape Arid National Park and moved to a special conservation reserve east of Albany.
The translocation project was a collaborative effort by a bunch of dedicated staff and volunteers from the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions, the National Landcare Program, Friends of the Western Ground Parrot, BirdLife Australia and Bush Heritage Australia.
Perth Zoo’s Australian Fauna Supervisor, Arthur Ferguson (pictured below), provided his animal management care to help keep the birds comfortable and safe in preparation for the move. Plus, our skilled veterinary teams attended to provide their medical expertise.
But translocating these birds is delicate work!
With extreme weather conditions including storms, strong winds, rain, cold nights and warm days, the crew always has to be ready for anything.
Clever technology used in the holding vehicle, ensured the parrots were kept at optimum temperature in their specially prepared temporary holding boxes. CCTV cameras were used by zoo staff to keep a close eye on the birds’ behaviours and welfare.
Sadly, one of the five birds was discovered by DBCA monitoring staff to have been predated at the new site following its release.
While it’s incredibly heartbreaking to lose an individual, samples were collected and scientists were able to detect fox DNA.
This information will help conservationists to make better informed decisions for any future translocations.
This trip from earlier in the year marks the third time conservationists have completed a wild-to-wild translocation, bringing a total of 19 parrots to the reserve. And we’re proud to say that our incredible keepers and veterinary staff have been involved in every effort!
This important work is aiming to create a second population of Western Ground Parrots, and hopefully bring them back from the brink of extinction.
Saving wildlife in action!